Trip Report

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Escrito por Tess in Santa Cruz desde ( el día sábado, 13 de enero, 2007 a las 20:47:06 horas :

I’ve been meaning to post a Trip Report but I got home on the 15th of December and oOPs it was Christmas!
First I want to say that I usually visit in January or February but LOVED early December. The flight down from San Francisco was almost empty and when we arrived at the Hotel Irma it was almost empty too. Plus the weather was absolutely perfect and the hills were greener than I have ever seen.
The Irma was, as always, more than adequate for the money (I paid $62/day). We stayed in the rooms on the 200 level by the pool which have a big balcony/porch which stays shady until the late afternoon. I suspect the noise from the pool area during a more busy time would be an issue with these rooms, but while we were there they were perfect. My only complaint about the Irma is that their pool area has no shade. There are three umbrellas in the whole area and they are attached to the three tables on the edge of the deck. This made jockeying for shade in the crevices of the building a creative venture for those hours of the day when you just wanted to rest at the hotel. Luckily the few guests became friendly quickly and had a wonderful ballet of lounge chair movements down to a science. Perhaps they are not aware that many of us come for the heat but not the sun! Breakfast and snacks when you don’t want to venture out are certainly adequate at the Irma and we found the staff friendly and helpful. Oh, and FYI there was construction starting between the Irma and Kau Kan. I never learned what it was and the noise was, while I was there not a problem.

I definitely was happy to on Playa Madera and able to walk into town, but the first night as soon as we arrived at the hotel and checked in I wanted my feet in the sand and took the first cab I could find to Paty’s Mar Y Mar on La Ropa. Ordered my drink and while they were getting them (2 for 1) walked out to get my feet in that warm Pacific Ocean. I live in Santa Cruz, CA and fall asleep at night listening to the waves of that same ocean and the sounds of the sea lions but never, ever stick my feet in the water without going BRRR. I had a friend with me this trip who had never been to Zihuatanejo and I felt a weird obligation to make him immediately love my home away from home. It took about 15 minutes at Paty’s as they lit the candles in the bags and the sun turned all those colors. We had a great meal of Mahi and Tuna, great conversation with Paty and other guests and that incredible warm feel in the sea breeze that all you with the countdowns are waiting for. (KR- I have to agree with you, Elvira’s if down so far onto the beach that a local practicing soccer team ran right through the tables repeatedly)
The next morning, not being tired due to the God Bless Them non-stop 4 hour flights that leave San Francisco at the civilized hour of 11AM, woke up, walked to Casa Café for breakfast (OK first took my metal coffee mugs to the restaurant for coffee –its ready at 7:30 and who is in a hurry for anything on vacation) and then kept going to the pier to get the water taxi to Playa Las Gatas.
My favorite is Chez Arnoldo at the beginning of the beach. I like their food, I love watching the families and children, and I love not needing water shoes to get in the water. OK Otilla’s and Franco will take good care of you and it is quieter on that end but everyone to his own. Plus I have watched them sanitize the rental snorkel gear and feel safe renting it.
The best part of that day on Las Gatas was watching the construction of the posada for La Virgen de Guadalupe by the workers and the vendors. As each group of mariachis got off the water taxi they stopped and played a song at the shrine. Different groups spent the day bringing, cutting and arranging the palm fronds, making the wreath, rearranging the whole thing. The next night we saw the boats leaving Las Gatas with the whole thing and dashed to the pier to watch all the employees and vendors and their families arrive and musically, costumed walk to the church to place their offering near the altar. This was repeated during the week by different groups and was wonderful to watch. I was particularly involved because on December 12, 2004 my sister Mary died and we have burned Virgin of Guadalupe candles since so I wanted to spend spiritual time during my vacation thinking of her.
Anyway, since this was Thursday night and I had a large group of Irma –ites with me I suggested, with thoughts of Stew, a visit to RicoMar in his “Pozole Alley” and off we went. For many it was the high point of their trip 1)because the Pozole was good, and 2) because it was 20 pesos each!
Ate at Casa Vieja two nights with two different groups that included “men who wanted meat” and boy does their pork chop meet that bill! It is at least 2 inches tall and almost more than they could eat. I had both nights the tuna steak wrapped in bacon and wished I had a hotel room with a refrigerator to bring home the half I couldn’t eat. The staff their gives personalized service that is incomparable. The second night I was there with a party of eight the waiters asked and remembered all our names and were incredibly attentive to our needs.
The rest of my week in Zihuatanejo was more of the same La Ropa-Paty’s, Las Gatas-Chez Arnoldo’s, a couple of afternoons at MJ and Ritchie’s, shopping at Artes Nopales across from the Artisan’s Market where I found my perfect Virgen de Guadalupe Shrine, a breakfast with friends at one of the Fondas in the Mercado (a serious experience for some of the adopted group) and of course Sunday night at the basketball court where I saw a traveling Ballet Folklorico troupe and ate tamales wrapped in banana leaves.
After a week in Zihuatanejo, I wanted to show my traveling companion my personal paradise and we headed to Bernie’s Playa Calli in La Barra. It felt like coming home as this was my fifth visit there in 6 years. Bernie, besides being a perfect host with a perfect property on the beach, with a pool, and aesthetically gorgeous (the property) has become a friend that I cherish. I was immediately attacked by the no-seesums despite my best efforts (which included even KR’s Tahitian lotion – I was ready to try anything - besides the DEET) Oh well that it what they invented Benadryl for. If you visit Bernie, be sure to request that he serve you dinner (I think it was $20USD a person including wine and desert). It is a gourmet feast that will have you moaning by the end. Took Bernie to lunch at La Condesa , a quick visit to Laura to drop off baby clothing (She had posted that they were expecting 12 babies in the village) and lots of relaxing on the lounge chairs by Bernie’s pool reading books, and it was time to go home. I only had 10 days for vacation this year (new job-no one cross trained to do my work) not my usual at least 2 weeks but it was, as usual, perfect.

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